Broadway Blog editor Matthew Wexler chats with Bridget Everett about booze, Broadway and the secret of success. This post contains adult content.
This now established icon of New York City’s cabaret scene (and not of the Andrea Marcovicci variety) has been pounding the pavement for more than a decade and A-listers are starting to notice.
“I moved to New York and wanted to be a singer,” says Everett, who ironically earned her Actor’s Equity card doing children’s theater. Work was slow to come her way so she started singing in karaoke bars and “going ape shit.”
She developed her signature character, a big-busted, wine-guzzling woman who walks a fine line between female empowerment and battered vulnerability, out of necessity. “It’s not like there’s part for me on Broadway, it’s not coming across my desk. I started singing and telling stories, doing whatever I could to get on stage,” Everett says.
A big break came from off Broadway’s Ars Nova Theater and artistic director Jason Eagan, who gave Everett a performance slot to further develop her show. She created “At Least It’s Pink” and slowly started to gather a cult following from theatergoers craving boundary-pushing antics with the musical chops to back it up. While performing a number at a New Year’s Eve show hosted by Dina Martina and Murray Hill at Joe’s Pub, Everett caught the eye of the Public Theater’s staff and has continued to find a creative home at the venue, which continues to cultivate her unique brand of talent.
“[The Public] is such a great place for developing art, they let me do what I want. They never say no. They feel like friends and family,” says Everett. The feelings are mutual. The Public recently commissioned Everett and her band The Tender Moments to create a new theatrical event as part of its New York Voices series, which lets musicians explore different ways of storytelling, narrative and songwriting while connecting them to the Public Theater’s artistic staff and a wider theater audience.
Everett has partnered with Tony-winning writing duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman as well as Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys to create Rock Bottom, which explores “what happens when you’re too passionate to give up, and too big to fail. “It has been a unique pleasure to watch Bridget’s career develop over the years and to see her audience continue to grow,” says Joe’s Pub director Shanta Thake.
If you can’t catch Rock Bottom, head to Carnegie Hall on November 7, where Everett will be appearing as a special guest performer for none other than Patti LuPone. And if you think the sweeping success has gone to Everett’s head, just ask her what she thinks about her Carnegie Hall debut: “Holy shit. I can’t believe it.”
Click Here for tickets to Rock Bottom at Joe’s Pub.
Oct. 30, Nov. 1, 2
Take the jump for a sneak peek at what happened when Patti LuPone crashed Everett’s recent show at Joe’s Pub as well as performance captured for HBO Canada.
Patti LuPone crashed Everett’s recent show at Joe’s Pub.
Bridget Everett on HBO Canada